New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary

Road trips are a great way to explore! I'd highly recommend renting a car & cruising the North and South Islands when visiting New Zealand.

I spent my first 2 days here exploring the city. I'd suggest seeing the views from Sky Tower and strolling along the peaceful waterfront from Queens Wharf and into the Wynyard Quarter.


Waiheke Island

The Island is known for its wineries & beaches! Waiheke makes a great day trip from Auckland. You can rent a bicycle, visit the white-sand beaches like Palm Beach or try the wineries.


I suggest picking up your rental car on your 3rd day and hitting the road. Head to Matamata to seek out adventures in Hobbiton which is home to Lord of The Rings!


Enjoy day 4 hiking in Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, where the Champagne Pool and Devil's Bath are definitely must-sees! Allow a few hours to walk the park's trails.

On your way to Wellington, you can stop to see Lake Taupo and continue south down Highway 1 for great views of the volcanoes in Tongariro National Park.

National Parks


Say goodbye to the North Island and Ferry to the South Island to Picton. Admire the Queen Charlotte Sound on the ride. Then it's only a 2 hour drive to the city of Nelson.

West Coast

At Abel Tasman National Park you can book a fun kayaking trip & then drive along the west coast. Don't forget to visit Punakaiki near Paparoa National Park for even more amazing views.

Thrill seekers can book a glacier heli-hike to explore on Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier. It's the best glacier experience in New Zealand! Then try an evening soak in Glacier Hot Pools.

Franz Josef

Head to Queenstown via Wanaka for the views. In Queenstown, you can book a fun jet boat tour on the river or try bungee jumping! Then head to Te-Anau and the beautiful Milford Sound.


Once you get to Milford Sound, you'll cruise for a couple of hours on the famous fjord spotting wildlife like seals and dolphins amongst towering cliffs and soaring waterfalls. 

Milford Sound

Head to Lake Pukaki where you can see this glacially-fed milk-blue lake with fantastic views of Aoraki/Mount Cook behind it. My favorite nearby hike was the Hooker Valley Track.

Central Otago and Aoraki

Lake Tekapo during lupin season is magical and definitely worth a visit on your way to Christchurch. Once there, you can walk the city looking at local street art and stroll the Botanic Gardens before heading home.


More Things To Do

If you have time, I recommend going to The Coromandel Peninsula to explore the Hot Water Beach and the famous Cathedral Cove or the Bay of Islands.